Meeting Lizbeth - Chapter Five Part IV

The Return Home

Tom's thoughts revolved around Lizbeth. He couldn't figure out how he was going to tell her about her beloved Grandpa Joseph. Joseph was closer to Lizbeth than he was to his own daughter and he knew Lizbeth adored Joseph. How was he going to tell her?

Tom's man still hadn't found Louise which puzzled Tom. His man had canvassed every hotel, motel, bus station, and train station to no avail. Now he was checking the airport. Where could Louise be? She wasn't a world traveller and certainly never made plans herself. She didn't have a lot of friends and no relatives she could stay with. Could she be lost somewhere? He really didn't know what to think. Where could she be?

When he drove up the driveway there were reporters everywhere. Evidently they already knew about Joseph's death. He was an important, well-loved man in this town. His passing was front page news. As Tom exited his car he raised his hands and said,

"Ladies and gentlemen, my beloved father-in-law, Joseph Porter, has apparently suffered a massive coronary. An autopsy will be performed to rule out foul play but we are almost certain he died of natural causes. No questions at this time please, and I ask that you allow my family privacy and time to grieve."

He turned and walked toward the house. When he closed the front door he found Maddy and his personal secretary waiting for him in the foyer. Tom told his secretary to stay in touch with the coroner's office and begin funeral arrangements as soon as he got the all clear.

"Can I get you anything Tom?" Maddy asked quietly.

"Yes, some scotch. I know it's early but I need it. Where's Lizbeth?"

"She hasn't come down yet, but I heard her TV on."

"I'll take that scotch now please."

After Tom swallowed his scotch he headed up the stairs, slowly, with his head down. He knew he would miss Joseph, he was very fond of him. Over the years they had grown close, Joseph was an easy man to like. Louise, well, who knew how she would react now, but Lizbeth. He felt so badly for his sixteen year old daughter. Now, on top of everything else that happened, she had lost her grandfather.

He knocked on her bedroom door and walked in. He could see she had been crying when she turned away from the window to look at him.

"Why Dad? How much more can this family take? What about Mom?"

He had no answers for her. He sat on her bed and she ran to him, kneeling on the floor in front of him with her head in his lap. He ran his fingers through her hair absent mindedly. Neither one knew how long they stayed that way. All they knew was somehow they comforted each other.

Maddy knocked on the door and asked to come in. She had a tray of sandwiches and cokes.

"I know you're probably not hungry, but you need to keep your strength up. The next few days will be very difficult."

She turned to leave but stopped when Tom said,

"Stay Maddy, please. We need to stick together, the three of us."

Maddy's Thoughts

Maddy's heart ached for these two people she loved so dearly. Like Tom and Lizbeth, she wondered where Louise could be. She racked her brain trying to think of any friends or even distant relatives Louise might turn to, but came up blank. Louise wasn't a very social person so it was easy to eliminate the few people she even bothered with. Maddy had called them on her own, to no avail.

Maddy had always liked Joseph. It was sometimes hard to believe he was Louise's father. He was a caring, gentle man. He wasn't selfish or pretentious in any way. His love for his wife was almost palpable and his love for his daughter was too. The sadness he felt about their life situations was clear for all to see. He had spent his life trying to provide Louise with the love of a father and mother.

Louise on the other hand was impossible to figure out. Even before she knew about the role she played in her mother's death, she was always distant. Maddy watched her and Tom together and could sense that this wasn't the loving couple they wanted people to believe. Yet, there was nothing you could point to that appeared to be the cause. Even now when everyone was worried about her she had shut herself off from them.

Source

Doug Remembers

Doug heard about Joseph's death from his regular patrol check in. He remembered Joseph's visit. He remembered seeing a well dressed man approaching him. He couldn't figure out what a man like that was doing in this part of town. As he neared Doug he held out his hand,

"My name is Joseph Porter, Doug. I understand you know my granddaughter Lizbeth."

"Yes sir, I do. She's been bringing me food." Doug replied trying to conceal his surprise as he shook Joseph's hand. How had Lizbeth's grandfather found out what was going on?

"I think there's more to it than that. I also know your appearance of dysfunction belies a highly regarded police officer."

"You've done your homework sir, but I must ask you to keep that information confidential. No one must know about my undercover work or I will be ineffective here."

"I haven't come to expose you or give you a hard time. I would just like to talk to you."

And talk they did. Joseph told Doug about his great love for Lizbeth, how she was the apple of his eye from the moment he saw her. As she grew so did his love for her. He said she reminded him so much of what his daughter Louise should have been. How he always wanted her life to bring her joy and never sorrow and pain. He explained he's had people watching her to keep her safe and that was how he knew about Doug.

"Once my people found out about her daily visits here I had you investigated. I know all about you Doug and I know you are a fine young man. Please forgive an old man for being overprotective of his granddaughter. I assure you, no one will know about this. Whether you decide to tell Lizbeth or not I leave to you."

They continued to talk and learned so much about each other. It was easy for them to talk so openly as each sensed the other's honesty and love for Lizbeth. Doug told Joseph,

"Mr. Porter, Lizbeth has given me my life back. Since you've done your homework you know I had pretty much given up on my life after my family's passing. The Police Department threw me a lifeline and then along came Lizbeth. It wasn't until Lizbeth that I started thinking about a future."

Now, he was gone.


The Obituary

Everyone who read Joseph's obituary was saddened. He was a kind man to all. He had done his job as mayor with fairness and dedication, a model politician if there ever was one. As the owner of Porter's Department Store he had given many a young man and woman a chance. A job to help them get through high school or to pay for college. His full time employees were provided with excellent benefits and loved their employer. All that is, except one. Jimmy the Shoe remembered Joseph as the man who had ended his cushy job. Jimmy had a steady income from his job and the money he stole from the register was a windfall for his gambling. If the old man had stayed away from the store he could have continued indefinitely.

When Joseph fired Jimmy, he still owed some gambling money. When he wasn't able to pay up he was visited by some thugs who left him with a broken arm and no money. They cleaned him out and told him he was through. He hadn't forgotten and could still feel the taste of vengeance rising in his throat.

"You may be dead old man, but I'm not finished."

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

More by this Author


25 comments

annart profile image

annart 19 months ago from SW England

Oh, this is soooo good! The background to this story is so well formed and the characters become more intriguing by the day, even Joseph after he's gone! Well done, Mary! Keep it coming; it's fab!

Ann


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 19 months ago from New York Author

Ann I had thought of ending with the end of chapter five but after reading your comment I'm not sure. I love that you like reading it and know it is far from a novel yet so I am torn about keeping it going here on HP.


annart profile image

annart 19 months ago from SW England

I'm sure you've got plenty to make it into a novel, Mary. You have so many characters who could go on for ever!

As for keeping it going on HP, the decision is obviously yours. Why not do only a few more chapters here and then make us buy the novel when you have a novel length (you have quite a bit already so it could be a little more or a lot more!)?

Either way, it's a great story.

Ann


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 19 months ago from New York Author

Thanks for the vote of confidence Ann. I have a few more characters to throw in plus there's more backstory. Maybe I'll go one more chapter...with four parts. Then stop, though I said that at chapter four. We'll see.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

You know my feelings about this, Mary. I think you have the makings of a good novel, but I'm not a big fan of sharing too much of a novel online on HP...you have talent...you have a good story. I would hate to see it end now....I think it should continue...just not here. :)


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 19 months ago from Central Florida

Another twist! I wonder if Jimmy the Shoe had anything to do with Joseph's death. And when will Louise be found?

I also agree with Bill and Ann. That's why I stopped posting The Gifts of Faith. You've teased us. Now is a good time to leave us hanging until you finish the novel and have it published.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 19 months ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

I agree with Shauna and Bill. You can do this. ( I won't even tell my storyline on here.) Go for it!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 19 months ago from southern USA

Mary, you are adding more and more depth to each character, while adding new ones. You certainly have the makings of a great novel, and I certainly would buy it, but I don't want to know too much of "the rest of the story" ...

You have so many here cheering you on, and I just know your novel will be a huge success.

Thanks for teasing us with so much already as we surely want more, but when and where is up to you. I think you may even have the making for a great movie too.

Up Awesome and Interesting, tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

Peace and blessings always


Matt Easterbrook5 profile image

Matt Easterbrook5 19 months ago from Oregon

Very well done Mary and captivating. Keep up the great work. Your hub was awesome.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 19 months ago from New York Author

Well Bill, I think you've made up my mind for me....Sha too! Time to concentrate on getting my story written, in a novel!

Sha, two of the best writers on HP suggestion I stop posting and keep writing....what choice do I have? No more story on HP. I'll be in touch with you when my novel is ready.

Faith, your faith and the encouragement I've received is giving me the incentive to stop pussyfooting around and write my novel! Thanks for the votes and great shares!

Glad you enjoyed Matt but I think this is the last installment here. Five chapters, four parts each. Now its time to concentrate on the novel and see what happens.


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

This is a great read Mary. Whether it continues here or in some other form the story is intriguing and captivating. Great job.


drbj profile image

drbj 19 months ago from south Florida

You have made a great start with intriguing characters and an interesting storyline. Good luck with your novel.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 19 months ago from New York Author

Thanks Bill. I think there is more to tell and on the advice of the experts here I think I will continue in novel form.

drbj, thank you. I hope the novel is as successful as the series has been here!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 19 months ago from Shelton

So far the exploration of your-side of humanity is amazing, I too would but via e-book the rest of this story.. as per annart.. it has me pinned down and wanting more :) Frank


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 19 months ago from New York Author

Thank you Frank. I am still writing, but not here. I will certainly let everyone know if this story makes it into a book! Have a great one.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 19 months ago from South Africa

Truly captivating, Mary. I am glad I caught up with this novel of yours :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 19 months ago from New York Author

You are glad and I am honored. Thank you Martie.


Melissa Orourke profile image

Melissa Orourke 19 months ago from Roatán, Islas De La Bahia, Honduras

I love reading your story, but I agree with others. It's time for you to finish writing your novel. I have been working on mine! Talked to a police officer I know yesterday, to pick his brain about one chapter!

I look forward to reading it when it's published!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 19 months ago from New York Author

Thanks Melissa. Hopefully we'll both get our novels published and we can sign each other's books ;)


Melissa Orourke profile image

Melissa Orourke 19 months ago from Roatán, Islas De La Bahia, Honduras

That would be awesome Mary! We would have to get together and celebrate!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 18 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

Mary, I love how this story continues to progress with its characters, and their connections and stories within the story. They all exist in relationship, and it is fascinating to see this unfold as we go deeper into their lives and backgrounds. Joseph touched many lives…now we are presented with the unsavory Jimmy the Shoe. This is a fascinating novel in “every sense of the word. “


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 18 months ago from New York Author

Thank you Genna. As I wrote I was afraid it would be confusing, but your comment shows me it was not. So glad you enjoyed it!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 18 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Mary,

I'm so looking forward to reading your finished story...I have been entranced every step of the journey so far, this installment being no exception.

Also putting in an early request for an 'exclusive' interview on Inspiration Station...!

Love, hugs and happy writing, Maria


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 18 months ago from Stillwater, OK

There are so many possibilities ere, including what happened to Lizbeth's mom, plus what could lie in wait with the other people in the story. Chills!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 18 months ago from New York Author

Maria, you are number one on my list for the first copy! You know I would be honored to do an "excluse" interview for you when the time comes.

Blessings and hugs.

Thanks so much Deb. There is certainly more in store for my characters, all influencing Lizbeth in one way or another!

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